Chapter 4: Essential System Files, Servers, and Utilities

Chapter 4: Essential System Files, Servers, and Utilities


When you first look in the /etc directory or do a process listing, you may feel overwhelmed. Fortunately, very few of these files are terribly critical to the system's operation. This chapter shows you what is important.

The subject material in this chapter covers the parts of the system that make the infrastructure covered in Chapter 2 available to the user-level tools covered in Chapter 1. In particular, you will see the following:

  • Configuration files that the system libraries access to get server and user information

  • Server programs (sometimes called daemons) that run when the system boots

  • Configuration utilities that can be used to tweak the server programs and configuration files

As in the previous chapters, there is virtually no networking material here. The network is separate from the elementary parts of the system. In Chapter 5 you'll see where the network fits in.